THE state’s tourism industry received some good news today with Qantas to fly direct between Brisbane and Dallas in the US.
The new service between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Brisbane Airport, starts in May 2011.
Premier Anna Bligh says it’s good news in one of Queensland’s ‘toughest hours’.
“Queensland is going through one of its toughest hours but it is announcements like this that show us there is hope and reinforce our will to rebuild and recover,” she says.
"This move by Qantas is a vote of confidence in Brisbane and Queensland's future. When these waters clear we will remain a world class city and this will still be a place that people want to come to both do business and to have a holiday.
"Our tourism industry has been slammed by the global financial crisis and now by this unprecedented flooding in our State. These flights are good news for that industry. The Dallas Fort Worth - Brisbane service will use a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, adding more than 1200 seats per week.
"We welcome this announcement by Qantas just as we will welcome these people to our city and our State. This couldn't have come at a better time."
Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US and has historically been at the centre of the oil industry but has since grown to be a key hub for the gas industry.
"These flights will offer Queenslanders a direct link to the heart of this state and growth industry,” says Bligh.
“Dallas is a key access point for plant equipment, logistical companies and expert consultants in the gas industry and these flights will allow us to share expertise more freely as our own LNG industry grows.”
State Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor says the Qantas announcment will coincide with Oprah's delayed Australian broadcast to the US, casting 'a real spotlight on the state of Queensland'.
"The Oprah Winfrey show is watched by about 40 million Americans who will see first-hand just how much our beautiful state has to offer," he says.
"Those wanting to visit Queensland following the show will now have more options than ever before with these additional flights."
The new service will also avoid the need for a Los Angeles (LAX) stop-over for Queenslanders on their way to Dallas.
The Dallas Fort Worth service will complement these existing services to Los Angeles, as not all demand for travel between the USA and Brisbane is met by LAX-BNE services.
Qantas will partner with its fellow Oneworld alliance member American Airlines to provide connections to a number of destinations from Dallas, which is one of the world's largest and busiest airports, with more than 56 million passengers, 17 airlines and an incredible 188 destinations.
Virgin Blue, through its subsidary V Australia, has been flying from Brisbane to Los Angeles direct since mid-2008.
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